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The harvest of short-duration Aman paddy is in full swing in Rangpur agricultural region, creating huge jobs for farm-labourers during ‘lean period’ of ‘Aswin’ and ‘Kartik’ months in Rangpur agriculture region, reports BSS.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said early harvest of short duration Aman rice began a month ago and the process will continue during whole ‘lean period’ till end of November.

Expanded cultivation of short duration Aman rice has become popular successfully combating ‘monga’ in last ten years in the region fulfilling another pledge of the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, they said.

Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) this year, said expanded farming and early harvest of short duration Aman rice and cultivation of subsequent winter crops on same land create huge jobs during lean period.

“The jobless day and farm labourers are successfully tackling seasonal lean period getting jobs in crop fields this time like in the previous nine consecutive years in the region,” he said.

The government adopted the three-year (2008-2010) Greater Rangpur Monga Mitigation Programme (GRMMP) in 2008 for large-scale cultivation of short duration Aman rice with early harvest to create jobs for farm-labourers during seasonal lean period.

“After assuming power in 2009, the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put maximum emphasis on expanding cultivation of short duration Aman rice varieties and achieved the GRMMP target by 2010,” Dr Mazid added.

After harvesting short duration Aman rice, farmers are cultivating early potato, winter vegetables, mungbean, maize and mustard on the same land also increasing crop intensity to reap more profits.

Horticulture Specialist of DAE at its regional office Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said farmers have cultivated Aman rice on 6.03 lakh hectares of land exceeding fixed target of bringing 5.94 lakh hectares of land by 1.64 percent in the region this season.

“Of them, farmers have cultivated short duration Aman rice varieties on 61,012 hectares of land, 10.10 percent of the totally cultivated land area in all five districts under Rangpur agriculture region,” Islam said.

Deputy Director of DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said farmers already harvested short duration Aman rice on 25,591 hectares of land in the region producing 78,863 tonnes of clean Aman rice (1.18 lakh tonnes paddy).

“At this harvesting stage, farmers are getting 3.08 tonnes yield rate of clean Aman rice per hectare (4.62 tonnes of paddy per hectare),” Moniruzzaman said adding that the achieved yield rate so far is profitable.

Talking to BSS, farmers Manik Mian, Ariful Haque and Ayub Hossain of different villages in Rangpur said they got 4.6 tonnes of paddy per hectare of BRRI dhan33 and BRRI dhan62 after harvesting those last week.

“I harvested short duration BRRI dhan72 on Sunday and got excellent yield rate of 6.10 tonnes of paddy per hectare,” said farmer Mozammel Hossain of village Paschim Bodi in Kishoreganj upazila of Nilphamari.

Regional Additional Director of the DAE Md Shah Alam said, “Farmers reap more profits by farming short duration Aman rice followed by cultivation of winter vegetables and other Rabi crops on the same land creating huge jobs and increasing crop intensity.”